A hallway upgrade

My last post teased about a little painting project we were starting that day. Remember, I said you could see the wall we would be painting in this picture?

Any guesses to which wall it was/what we did?? No? Okay, well can you spot it in this picture?

Yep! We painted stripes in our hallway! What a fun, (relatively) easy, and CHEAP project with some big impact. I love how it makes the hallway look so much more finished. And it even adds some visual interest to the living room as well.

But before we get into that, lets see what we started with.

As I am sure comes as no surprise, this hallway has never been very high on our list of priorities. In fact, it sat for months completely bare, except for three lone picture frames. Then I added this runner rug last summer. As I talked about in this post, we replaced the light fixtures with these fun globe ones last July.

In that post I told you about how we scored these Pottery Barn lights brand new on eBay for about $100 cheaper than what it would’ve cost to go through PB. Well, a couple of months later, Nick and I were watching TV in the living room when we suddenly heard a loud crash. Yep, you guessed it. One of the glass globes fell and completely shattered. Only then did I read quite a few reviews on Pottery Barn’s website of people who have experienced the same issue with the globes falling and shattering (it probably just wasn’t screwed onto the fixture tight enough). But all the reviews talked about how wonderful PB was about sending them a replacement light when they made them aware of the issue. But since I ordered it off of eBay I was pretty much out of luck and would just have to buy a whole ‘nother light. So, that is a word to the wise. If you try to go the cheap route, you obviously wont be entitled to the same customer service should your light break.

After that fun little incident, I just couldn’t bring myself to spend the money to buy a replacement so one of the lights sat globe-less for a good 10 months or so. We finally bit the bullet and bought a replacement for our wedding anniversary this month. And I guess I didn’t really learn my lesson, because I bought it off of eBay again…I just couldn’t stand buying it from PB when I could get the same light for cheaper elsewhere.

I also added three new frames to our gallery wall. As I mentioned in this post, my plan is to add an additional frame every year with a photo of the “big event” of that year. So I had our wedding picture for 2008, a family picture with our new puppy in 2009, and a picture of us in front of our new house in 2010. I wanted the frames to be balanced out, so I went ahead and hung up three more frames with maternity photos for 2011. But I plan to replace one of those with a picture of Kate for 2012, and then I will replace the photo in the third frame once we get to 2013.

So with our light replaced and three new frames filling our “gallery wall,” I felt inspired to finish the area off and add a little more style to it. I have been itching to do stripes somewhere in the house for a while now. I loved the subtle tone-on-tone look of our dining room stencil project, so I decided to use the same semi-gloss bright white paint to paint stripes in the hallway.

Once again, it was Young House Love to the rescue (am I a little obsessed? Hey, just because my day isn’t complete if I don’t read that blog doesn’t mean I’m obsessed. And just because I have had more than one dream with them in it and talk to Nick about what John and Sherry did as if they are my friends, that doesn’t mean I’m obsessed. What? It doesn’t… ;)) We used the instructions in this post to tape off our walls and paint the stripes.

We (well actually, Nick) divided our wall out to create 7 stripes that measured approximately 9 inches each.

He used a laser level to mark off every 9 inches, then taped off the stripes with painter’s tape. As YHL points out, the tape should go outside the stripes you’ll be painting but inside the negative space you won’t be painting (once you remove the tape both areas will be the same width).

Once it was taped off it looked all kinds of crazy.

What? You’re not a fan of the bright blue and green stripes? I actually think they could look really cool if you had a bright and bold house. I, however, do not, so it was time to get to painting my subtle stripes.

So (drumroll please)… the end result:

I’m a pretty big fan. You know I love my subtle tone-on-tones. And my favorite part is how you can see a peek of it from the living room.

From a distance it really looks like wallpaper and I love how it makes the whole space look more complete. You can’t see it in this photo but if you are standing in the middle of the living room, you would see the tone-on-tone stripes in the hallway to your left and the tone-on-tone stencil in the dining room to your right. Everything is tied together very nicely without being too matchy-matchy.

So there’s one more space that I can check off as “done” …at least for now! Now its on to the next room! I am already starting to formulate my plan for the office/playroom I want to create (you can see a peek of our office’s current “blah” state at the end of the hallway in the picture above.

I think I just heard Nick groaning in the background…will the projects ever stop?? 🙂

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